25. Juni 2005

[ English , Software ]

What I like most about Opera 8

I met with an Opera developer this evening whom I proudly told about my purchase of a full Opera license two days ago and she asked me: So what do you like most about Opera 8?

What do I like most?

  1. The Speed. Opera is fast. I loved my Firefox that I used before, but when I tried out Opera it was a new experience: Is is very responsive and it renders webpages much faster than Firefox. I am on a DSL line, so a major brake is the lag when requesting pages, but once the data comes flowing, Opera builds pages out of it in no time.
  2. The Keyboard Shortcuts. I am being a bit unfair here: In Firefox I could already operate 95% of the functionality I need by keyboard. Now I am at 99%. If I had read Firefox's Documentation as intensively as Opera's, they would probably come up to the same level. Opera has easy-to-use shortcuts to open new pages (that's the Opera-word for what is called "tabs" in Firefox) and to switch betwen them, to navigate inside webpages, to find text etc. Configuring them to personal preferences, which in theory is possible, idid not always work for me however.
  3. The Fullscreen Mode. Again I am being unfair: I suppose Firefox has this as well. Anyway - I only started using this mode in Opera. You hit F11 and the browser goes into full screen mode. This is particularly useful when I am giving a presentation and want to show webpages to the audience. I can navigate and follow links with the keyboard. I gain screen space and the audience can concentrate on the webpage and is not distracted by the browser widgets.

Opera has become my main browser. I love it: It is comfortable, fast and stable. There are fewer plugins or extensions available than for Firefox, but I didn't really miss any of them, maybe except for Slogger. I also miss the functionality that you could drag the URL from the browser into a directory or and a shortcut would be created automatically. For some reason, this drag and drop functionality only works for me when pasting to the desktop, not in ordinary folders. Odd. I also found the possibility to address bookmarks with keyboard shortcuts better in Firefox. It was much easier to create custom searches that could be activated with keyboard shortcuts there. (This was actually my main concern when I thought about switching from Firefox to Opera. These shortcuts to my most important pages and searches make me fast. I still need to find better ways in Opera to navigate to them.)

If you are interested in my configuration, here is a screenshot:

050625-Opera.jpg

The menu on top, then a link bar with three bookmarklets ("Post to MT Weblog", "post to del.icio.us", "go to referrer"), then the collection of currently open pages (tabs). Underneath, the navigation buttons on the left and the URL area to the right, which also serves as the progress indicator when a page loads. At the bottom, the status bar. That's all. The theme I use is Odyssey.

Have a look at Opera. (No, they are not paying me! :-)) Even if you decide to stay with your current browser, there are some interesting features to be discovered. But I bet the speed will seduce you... ;-)

What do you like most about Opera? What are your best keyboard shortcuts? Any hacks and trick you would like to share? Any questions?

 

i like most the mouse gestures ...

do you customized your operas search.ini?

René Pönitz am 25.06.05 10:14 #
 

Ah, beautiful! That's exactly what I was looking for.

Martin Röll am 25.06.05 11:12 #
 
1. The Speed. Opera is fast. I loved my Firefox that I used before, but when I tried out Opera it was a new experience: Is is very responsive and it renders webpages much faster than Firefox. I am on a DSL line, so a major brake is the lag when requesting pages, but once the data comes flowing, Opera builds pages out of it in no time.

maybe you should have increased the pipeline maxrequests and change other hidden preferences in firefox to speed it up. take a look at this if you ever feel like trying firefox again: http://forum.seo4india.com/lofiversion/index.php/t1125.html

2. The Keyboard Shortcuts. I am being a bit unfair here: In Firefox I could already operate 95% of the functionality I need by keyboard. Now I am at 99%. If I had read Firefox's Documentation as intensively as Opera's, they would probably come up to the same level. Opera has easy-to-use shortcuts to open new pages (that's the Opera-word for what is called "tabs" in Firefox) and to switch betwen them, to navigate inside webpages, to find text etc. Configuring them to personal preferences, which in theory is possible, idid not always work for me however.
open new tab in firefox: ctrl + T open new page: ctrl + N switch beetwen tabs: ctrl + prv page or next page, or ctrl + number of the tab, or ctrl + tab... switch beetwen pages: alt + tab find text: the find as you type function in firefox is just great for this :) to move yourself inside a webpage: up, down, left and right or prev page and next page, plus home and end

if you don't want to touch your mouse never more, you can use hint-a-hint to navigate beetwen links too (http://www.hut.fi/~psillanp/hah_hp)

you can change the keys you want to use for this or that funcionality using keyconfig (http://mozilla.dorando.at/readme.html)

3. The Fullscreen Mode. Again I am being unfair: I suppose Firefox has this as well. Anyway - I only started using this mode in Opera. You hit F11 and the browser goes into full screen mode. This is particularly useful when I am giving a presentation and want to show webpages to the audience. I can navigate and follow links with the keyboard. I gain screen space and the audience can concentrate on the webpage and is not distracted by the browser widgets.

of course you can do this with firefox. and the key you have to press is F11, just like opera and internet explorer. but in firefox you can configure what you want to be shown and what to hide (http://extensionroom.mozdev.org/clav/#almostfullscreen , http://www.krickelkrackel.de/autohide/, and if you want to start in full mode always http://m2n.com/linux/firefox/extensions/fullscreen/)

Zootropo am 25.06.05 13:18 #
 

so, why did you change to opera again? ;)

Zootropo am 25.06.05 13:20 #
 

Very nice, thank you! :-)

I switched, because it felt the right thing to do. Maybe Firefox can get as fast as Opera - I don't know. I called this entry "what I like about Opera" and not "Why you should switch from Firefox to Opera" for a good reason: I am not trying to convince anyone to switch. I just wanted to praise the browser I like best. If there are two or even more excellent browsers to choose from - great. Take the one you prefer. As long as your choice is not Microsoft Internet Explorer, everything is fine with me. ;-)

Martin Röll am 25.06.05 18:37 #
 

Ein gutes Forum rund um Opera:
http://opera-info.de/forum/

stefan am 25.06.05 23:15 #
 

I like the "toggle loading and display of images" function a lot for slow internet connections. There is a Firefox plugin to do the same, but it's not that powerfull.

Thiemo Mättig am 26.06.05 13:06 #
 

I don't like Opera very much, because the standard GUI/theme seems too cluttered compared to the pretty clean Firefox GUI. And further it seemed always (too) much work for me to go through all the settings to make Opera suit me (it's the same with KDE: too many settings available and the standard settings are just to overwhelming).

So I stay with Firefox. ;-)

Carsten am 26.06.05 17:14 #
 

Hey, thanks for the tip about F11, works fine in my Firefox *g* (but FF sure is slow...)

OliverG am 27.06.05 10:42 #
 

Hello everybody,

muss man auf einen englischen Beitrag in englisch antworten?
Okay, what is my answer. There are so much equal pleasing me features, that each one should be named here. An good wide and also deep overlook gives the tutorial of tntluoma:

30 Days to becoming an Opera8 Lover
http://operalover.tntluoma.com/8/

und in deutsch für Version 7:
Zum Opera-Liebhaber in 30 Tagen
http://tntluoma.com/opera/lover/7/de/

best greetings, beste Grüße, Thomas

Thomas Hofmann am 27.06.05 12:07 #
 

I simply need drag&drop feature!!! I have tons of well categorized bookmarks (list grew up over years), which are stored in a folder as ".url" files.

Main advantage of my system is that they work on every computer unlike all bookmark solutions found in IE, FF or Opera. I can drag a bookmark to that folder with IE or FF, but not from Opera... Too bad, this is the only thing, that keeps me from migrating to this superb browser.

ps: try browsing in dual display mode, with Total Commander on secondary display. It is a revelation. Revelation!

Vasco am 26.09.05 06:45 #